Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sifting for Gold

I had anticipated that as Spring Training got rolling there would be more to comment on from the Jays but it seems that every micro-story (Snider adjusts swing, Ruiz loses weight, et al) is easily and thoroughly parsed by a multitude of other blogs and unless I find myself in abject disagreement on some point, I'm loath to re-address a story thoroughly examined by others.

Still, every couple of weeks one has to say SOME thing. Of all the news of note I've seen lately, the thing that most catches my imagination is the Jays reported interest (according to Jordan Bastian) in Adeiny Hechevarria.

The flashy fielding Cuban SS, who turns 22 in about a month, has been described thusly:

an 'offensive-minded' shortstop in the Cal Ripken mode: a high-average hitter with above-average power. At the plate, his spray chart looks a little more like Ichiro Suzuki: he has a knack for finding infield holes and hitting behind runners. He'll command a high signing bonus and start in the minor leagues, with 2012 or 2013 looking like a possible MLB arrival date.

That's an impressive description. As much as I'm still a reasonably enthusiastic fan of Justin Jackson, I think the Jays HAVE to be top bidder here. AA has been quoted as saying they've tried offering huge packages for other teams young star shortstops, and they obviously had a lot of cash on hand to offer to Chapman. Even though there are other teams interested, I'm thinking we go all-in on a guy like this. He'd instantly become one of the top 3 or 4 prospects in the organization and probably slot in at New Hampshire with an eye on reaching the bigs by 2012. Of course, prospects often don't live up to their hype - particularly Cuban prospects. But such is the dirth of available high upside young SS talent, I think this is a place where you roll the dice and put your best effort into winning this bid.

Other random one-liner(ish) thoughts -

  • Bautista is the lead-off hitter is gonna make a LOT of outs v. RHPs this year. My greatest reservation about this team is that Joey Gathright was the best they could do to attempt to remedy that;
  • I'm very optimistic, perhaps too much so, about the starting rotation;
  • It's really hard to not get wrapped up in the possibility McGowan is all the way back. Someone (can't remember who) reminds us Janssen looked really good at this point last year as well;
  • I would worry more about Clarance planning on leaving Hil hitting second if there was a reasonable alternative in that spot. As good as Overbay's OBP is (vs RHP) he's really a as problematic in that role as Hill;
  • A few reports are out suggesting that JP Arencibia had LASIK eye surgery last fall. I'm all a-twitter to see if he steps up offensively this year as a result;
  • I'm already looking forward to July with anticipation that the Jays will shuffle off as many spare older players as possible to get guys like Wallace and JPA into the lineup;
  • I'm calmly enthused about Snider's touched up swing. If he steps up and Wells and Encarnacion rebound, the offense will be pretty impressive 2-7;
Hopefully there will be an unusual story coming along in the next fey days or weeks that will provoke something other than a chorus of "me too" remarks out of the blogosphere.

2 comments:

オテモヤン said...

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Mylegacy said...

Firstly, I agree with the first commenter - no question ...er ...well ...maybe a few tiny questions.

It'll take a very large bag of high denomination green backs to sign this particular wet back - no question there for sure.

However, since only a tiny portion of that massive amount of money will be mine - I say - AA do it!